Trump campaign says he will stay in Milwaukee for GOP convention, not at Chicago property

Former President Trump will stay in Milwaukee for the upcoming Republican National Convention, his campaign confirmed, batting down reports the former president intended to spend the night at his Chicago property and commute to the Wisconsin city for the event.

A Trump campaign spokesperson denied reporting from ABC7 in Chicago that Trump was planning to stay at Trump Tower in the Windy City. That report cited a “high-ranking law enforcement source” and two other sources who confirmed Trump was making plans to stay in Chicago.

“President Trump will be staying in Milwaukee for the convention,” Karoline Leavitt, the national press secretary for the Trump campaign, told The Hill.

The New York Times separately reported Trump had intended to stay in Chicago, but those plans changed after reporters inquired with the campaign about them.

A Republican National Committee spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Republican National Convention is scheduled to take place July 15-18.

Reports that Trump had planned to stay in Chicago came days after the former president disparaged Milwaukee during a closed-door meeting with House Republicans while in Washington, D.C.

Punchbowl News reported Trump referred to Milwaukee, the most populous city in Wisconsin, as a “horrible city.” Trump and his allies sought to tamp down outrage over the comment, insisting he was talking about crime and voter fraud specifically.

“I picked Milwaukee, I know it well,” Trump posted on Truth Social over the weekend. “It should therefore lead to my winning Wisconsin. But the Dems come out with this fake story, just like all of the others. It never ends. Don’t be duped. Who would say such a thing with that important State in the balance?”

Trump held a campaign rally Tuesday in Racine, Wis., located 30 miles south of Milwaukee. He opened his remarks by telling supporters, “You know, I love Milwaukee.”

Trump is known to prefer staying at his own properties when possible, spending much of his time since leaving office at his clubs in Palm Beach, Fla., or Bedminster, N.J., as well as at Trump Tower in New York City.

But opting to stay outside the state of Wisconsin next month while Republicans gather in Milwaukee would give ample fodder to Democrats to attack Trump and question his commitment to a vital swing state in the upcoming election. In fact, the Biden campaign and Wisconsin Democrats wasted little time seizing on reports Trump had planned to stay in Chicago.

“Nothing is more on-brand for Donald Trump than the fact that he’d rather stay in a failing Trump-branded hotel in Chicago than spend a single night in beautiful Wisconsin,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Ben Wikler said in a statement. “Only after he got caught did Trump make an embarrassing about-face and commit to spending the night in the city he called ‘horrible’ just last week.”

Garren Randolph, who is working in Wisconsin for the Biden campaign, said in a statement that “Wisconsinites rejected him four years ago and we will again this November.”

Wisconsin is poised to play a major role in November’s election between Trump and President Biden. Trump narrowly won the state in 2016, then lost it to Biden in 2020 by roughly 20,000 votes. A Decision Desk HQ/The Hill average of polls shows Biden leading in Wisconsin by 1 percentage point.

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